Brave New World

The Feminist Lens: Sexism in Dystopian Literature 12th Grade

“O, brave new world!” John joyfully proclaims after being told he will have the chance to live in the World State with Bernard and Lenina (Huxley 93). Upon first reading dystopian literature, one might feel much like John, assuming a more progressive society full of equality and promoted individuality. However, by examining these texts further with the feminist theory in mind, one will see the many inequalities the World State has to offer. As the reader can clearly concur, the theme of female suppression appears in the characters of the dystopian novels Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and 1984 by George Orwell. Both Huxley and Orwell exhibit themes of oppression through low work roles for women, demeaning language used to describe women, and the portrayal women as sexual objects.

Women in early dystopian novels are oppressed by their society, especially in the work force. In Cheryl Lange’s analysis of female characters portrayed by male and female writers, it is noted that females, in the novels of their male writers, tend to portray a less important and more “subservient life in which she is defined only in relation to males” (Lange). Women not only are seen as side characters, but are also given lower level of authority in...

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